AB 1147 was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 18, 2014. The bill authorizes the continuation of statewide voluntary certification for massage therapists by the California Massage Therapy Council. In addition the bill does the following:
- Reauthorizes the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) organization until 1/1/2017.
- Changes the composition of the CAMTC board of directors from a majority of board members appointed by the massage profession, to a composition in which the net result could be a 13 person board with only 3-5 members from the massage community – depending which organizations named in the bill actually exercise their right to appoint.
- Extends the statewide voluntary certification of massage therapists. The qualifications to become a CMT will change. Beginning on January 1, 2015, all new applicants will be required to meet a minimum 500 hour education requirement and pass an entry-level competency exam (such as the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) to qualify for CMT.
- New applications for the massage practitioner tier of certification (requires a minimum of 250 hours) will no longer be accepted by CAMTC after 12/31/14. Active CMP’s will be able to continue to renew every two years and keep their CMP status.
- Massage professionals currently holding an active conditional certified massage practitioner (CCMP) will be able to continue to work toward their CMP.
- CAMTC is authorized to approve schools.
- CAMTC will be required to submit a report to the legislature by June 1, 2016. The report would include a feasibility study of licensure for the massage profession (i.e. possible replacement of CAMTC by a state board or bureau) as well as performance metrics for the CAMTC organization.
How the New Law Affects Individual Massage ProfessionalsAB 1147 amends the current state voluntary certification law that the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) administers for the state. CAMTC certification remains voluntary under AB 1147; however, please be aware of what the city you work in requires. More than 90 jurisdictions currently require massage professionals in their jurisdiction to be CAMTC certified in order to work there. Individual massage professionals will be affected in the following way: CMT (Section 4604 of AB 1147) The qualifications for the Certified Massage Therapist tier changes on January 1, 2015, and will require all new applicants to possess at least 500 hours of massage education in addition to passing a national competency exam.
- Current CMT certificate holders must renew on time every 2 years in order to avoid having to re-apply for CAMTC certification under the new requirements.
- If you are not currently CAMTC certified and possess a minimum of 500 hours massage education, applying before December 31, 2014 would be a great idea.
- If you allowed your CAMTC certification to expire, you would need to re-apply in order to become CAMTC certified again. This would be a great time to re-apply.
- Current CMP certificate holders must renew on time every two years in order to keep their certification active. If you remain active, you will be able to renew in perpetuity.
- If you currently possess between 250 and 499 hours of massage education, the remainder of 2014 represents your last chance to apply for the CMP level of CAMTC certification. Future applicants will all have to meet a 500 hour education requirement AND pass an entry-level competency exam in order to qualify for CMT.